Pawnshops Emerge as Solid Lender in Post-Austerity SpainBy
CreditCarlos Lujan for The New York Times
MADRID — Lax lending and deadbeat borrowers nearly brought down the Spanish banking system a few years ago. That’s why the remnants of some of the failed banks are resorting to a time-honored form of loans with can’t-miss collateral: pawnshops.
When borrowers cannot repay, there’s another way to recoup the money.
A recent jewelry auction by the pawnshop of the Caja Madrid Foundation, a spinoff of the biggest failed savings bank, raised 909,000 euros, or about $994,000. Although bidding for some of the cheaper items started as low as €45, a 1950s Van Cleef & Arpels bracelet of white gold, diamonds and sapphires fetched €27,500…
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